From women to objects: appearance focus, target gender and perceptions of warmth, mortality and competence

Heflick, Nathan A. and Goldenberg, Jamie L. and Cooper, Douglas P. and Puvia, Elisa (2011) From women to objects: appearance focus, target gender and perceptions of warmth, mortality and competence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47 (3). pp. 572-581. ISSN 0022-1031

Full content URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2010.12.020

Documents
From women to objects: appearance focus, target gender and perceptions of warmth, mortality and competence

Request a copy
[img] PDF
jesp_objectification_2.pdf - Whole Document
Restricted to Repository staff only

789kB
Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive

Abstract

Most literally, objectification refers to perceiving a person as an object, and consequently, less than fully
human. Research on perceptions of humanness and the stereotype content model suggests that humanness is
linked to perceptions of warmth, morality and competence. Merging these insights with objectification
theory, we hypothesized that focusing on a woman's, but not a man's, appearance should induce
objectification, and thus reduce perceptions of these characteristics. In three studies, females, but not
males, were perceived as less competent (Studies 2 and 3) and less warm and moral (Studies 1, 2 and 3) when
participants were instructed to focus on their appearance. These findings support our position and help rule
out stereotype activation as an alternative explanation to dehumanization. Further, they generalized to
targets of different races, familiarity, physical attractiveness and occupational status. Implications for gender
inequity and the perpetuation of objectification of women are discussed.

Keywords:objectification, gender, appearance focus, stereotype content model
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C880 Social Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:18886
Deposited On:30 Sep 2015 14:35

Repository Staff Only: item control page